thumbnail of On Assignment; 2006; Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis
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broadcast on assignment is locally funded by kay in any viewer contributions and by a grant from the mountain bell foundation tonight in a special on assignment production guest host tom wicker of the respected new york times columnist narrates a major documentary look at america's prison crisis it is an important and a timely story is called monuments to failure this special program was funded in part by the corporation for public broadcasting through a grant from the pacific mouth network program fund the head best path people just a lot of these songs and the
rest of us in some critical lessons and osha cited evolved from three defendants they couldn't sew to mediate this understandable that people don't think about the makeup of the people behind the saudis i'm tom wicker this is a story about prisons in the united states
specifically about our state prison systems they're mostly in the grip of a crisis so deep so pervasive as the border on disaster this happens to be the new mexico maximum security prison just outside santa fe you look into his latest cinematic security assistance but also up we'll here or in other prisons like this in growing numbers all over the nation to the act they're a far cry from the old fortress prisons built in the nineteenth century or early in this one laid claim was easier you know harry mexico's new
prison was a record out of the blood and rubble of one of the worst prison riots in american history even now the images linger in the minds of many americans they were a second nineteen eighty shortly after the inmates in the grossly overcrowded administered penitentiary of new mexico seized control of the institution inside the walls unspeakable carnage and what she had fallen thirty six hours later officials regained control are thirty three inmates would be murdered by their fellow inmates the prison itself it was a ritual ruins eight years earlier in upstate new york another historic uprising inside the thirty foot walls of the state prison at attica brought me a personal journey into the dark corridors of the so called correction system
it began several days in the late summer of nineteen seventy six unsuccessful is to arrange a peaceful settlement between state officials thank you there were two incidents are in disagreement speaking creek probably could've the state's learn from both addict and new mexico clearly have they with few exceptions evidently not for reasons ranging from syria so crappy to inadequate health rehabilitation and work programs roughly two
thirds of the state serve to some kind of federal court order to make vast improvements in their prisons to put it bluntly federal judges across the nation i've found that could find that in the great majority of our prisons amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and prostitution under the eighth inning how do the society devoted human rights fall into the situation part of the answer lies in political neglect and social of defense who cares about the outcast you can freeze it i haven't killed anybody is that she
is important in the actress's eyes filled in ireland in all the issue of incarceration is everybody's business is not just my business i was aboard a word then your boss is warden at california's san quentin prison our businesses are not a mine that comes to mind is one there's a mosquito that causes attract nationwide attention of them even been the attention is focused on the prisoners were just a short period of time what were were abuses as an aside and i am i am and it should be that corrections has no constituency it's a clinically negative activity you get more votes ever for having a good correction system minnesota commissioner of corrections well governor no legislator i know of has ever run on a ticket of that of his or her or they're good correction system doesn't get any votes nobody cares about a bad correctional system and it's in the media as the media has a high interest for whatever reason
extremely high interest in prison solidly red states they're fascinated by its always good inc or it's always good tape a prison in it there was definitely some of us might hear in your social battles that raged just ten or twenty people and they went into the voting polls that passed last night that effect ninety five other guys who have nothing to do with you know yet they're the senior most unwise and i think there is a general fear and ignorance of the populace is no question about that but i think that the media and and politicians in particular could overcome that fear in your experience where they could make a strong case that
saves prisons are also economic prisons are also in white and prisons dionne political debate americans' attitudes toward crime have toughened in recent years the state lawmakers around the country have responded the so called anti crime measures including stiffer and less flexible sentencing laws the people behind bars for longer periods it's called the time of the sentencing and that of course removes from the court any discretion to consider the facts surrounding that person's criminal activity new mexico supreme court justice their waters as a result everybody goes to prison some of them at hand mandatory additional sentencing was my if there were firearms involved so and in addition to the basic sentence the courts are required to and the
additional and danced since my son has always been that all you need for that sort of urban disposition is a kind of a cash register upon that up on the judge's desk and he punches in the crime and then she looked to see whether it's a first for a fourth degree felony any punches the next button and up pops the sentence and then individuals these sensed according to the mechanical means in new mexico if iraq and i enjoy riding her car that's a felony like a good time for but it can be a felony for writing a check and all the children are under the loss in mexico we didn't even know was there it's been
there for a year it completely destroyed me if the man must go to prison sentences have become longer because of the this perception of the way of handling it and the people going to prison i are growing in greater numbers every day he'd of every month of every year and that persons who are already there are not being released which they cannot be an indeterminate sentencing basis what is left but overcrowding me i'm minnesota it as one of the nation's lowest crime rates one of the
lowest per capita imprisonment rates in the nation and something almost unheard of these days more prison space that it needs it has done so with policies for rational sentencing to keeping adult and juvenile offenders in the community rather than casting them out of that and into prison they're bread baking is the director of minnesota's senate sing badlands commission the movement first was forty assistant will be more strictly determine that that is the legislature would buy by statute to find one sense it should be and that that would be it more mandatory return a type of sentencing but those that were still howling in favor of the entertainment system thought of that notion of going to a strict deterrent system which would remove all the discretion from from all along from the judicial branch an end essentially from the executive branch and n roll call court and putting on hand to the legislature i define what the sentence should be
so the out the compromise was sentencing guidelines begins with sentencing guidelines you could provide a more determine a sentence as you would have a structure that would define what the what the prison sentence should be when the typical case at the same time provide some flexibility for judges to sentence apart from those prescribe sentences when the circumstances just did not seem to fit with the typical case i'm impressed with the year that lenses that have been said in minnesota what i think is the admirable about it is that it is considered to be a guideline and there are a number of factors that may be taken into consideration for any single crime in the manner in which the individuals sentenced and the judge may depart from the guidelines is in his judgment there are circumstances which would work departure but at it remove the rigidity
with which most states now operate because of the legislative enactments and of course the courts recognize that it is within the power of the legislature to determine what the sentencing should be today more than a half million people are bad water district is seventy percent or they just eight years ago once they get this very well that billion dollar prisons but to have been the result california leads the way more than two billion dollars and fourteen thousand new barriers to its businesses another eight hundred fifty million dollar prison bond issue they go before california voters in two some people in tripoli and set interest los
angeles county district attorney rob reiner they're people who are violent criminals that we ought to forget about trying to rehabilitate all we ought to do is put them in the penitentiary for so long that by the time they get out that the longer a threat to anybody that that means just warehousing them and so be it i guess somebody us and i think it's something we need to be done going back a number of years before i got heavily involved in that prison systems legislation that was very involved in the anti crime legislation that it might be about increasing sentences ensuring that jail and stayed there a long time so seems to me than the responsible thing to do then is to build a prison system the whole state senator robert wesley is perhaps the key legislative architect of california's massive prison construction program that we're moving aborn at least in a very strong building for the last sixty years and what we can tell
we're going to have a drug that's going to continue the needs of the volunteers to get the removal of people who are you without your crisis subsides what they're doing that exists in that state where he's had to accommodate thirty thousand inmates california is now a warehouse in its sixty thousand michael sanchez is a leading california advocates for steve inskeep to say we should be hard on criminals and on tough on crime and i'm going to put more people in prison and i'm going to build more prisons in order to do it as a way to gain public office cause nobody objects to that in
texas his partner notorious for protecting its prisons and its prisoners the number of inmates has increased one hundred twelve percent six years ago but despite six hundred seventy billion dollars reconstruction the capacity of prisons in texas has increased only fifty percent so years ago texas said dr questionable distinction of being the third largest prison the world of angola nine the soviet union and perhaps south africa now we are far behind california which has had the fastest growing prison system because of a law dealing with the german sentencing very politically popular are we still a large prison but taxes while larger state we have to make some important decisions on money but texas governor william clements says he speaks for texans on corrections issues the people of taxes to that our strong strong strong in every survey ever
pulled out saying over the past two or three years until about seventy percent other people say we want those criminals in prison where they belong and we won kept there and were not in favor of an early release program that's where the people texting or texas state senator race that it has played a key role in the lone star state's prison construction program that bases let's well i think tell foreigners now terrified because of the cost of operating these many prisons so that they have put in place and i think that's going to happen in taxes and have another state to try to solve the problem has been getting more prison that adds up say we shouldn't i had prison that we are adding them indexes and many states are but we have the local alternative we have to apply the same economic conservatism that military people as a build more prisons this is the answer paul little conservative
about other issues but we need a black conservative across the board if that term really means anything anymore and say hey is there a more efficient way of handling this a vendor on that offender but governor clements doesn't buy the fire review i know i speak for the governor's office nice pictures opinions and you say well it's costly was certainly it's costly but it also has to do with a reordering of your part of the game having built lives construction costs are only part of the story california currently spends two billion dollars annually to operate its correction system more than seventeen thousand dollars seventy one inmate and bars for one year texas spends nearly half a billion dollars of corrections efforts every year about fourteen thousand dollars for it nevertheless
the courts still hold that state's prisons unconstitutionally inhuman even the poor are sparsely populated state judges to mexico prison costs are scattered nearly twenty three thousand dollars per inmate per year in annual operating total of eighty five billion dollars doesn't cost it short are staggering especially for so little return even those who support more prison construction wonder how much longer tax rate payers will step for the money to build prisons as income taxes the public is concerned with getting criminals off the street violent criminal syndicate and put him in the penitentiary that warning them off the street in the penitentiary is one thing being prepared to come to grips with the fact that you don't have to pay for that is you don't have to construct additional prisons and that leaves taxes that's a harder sell by nineteen ninety five
instead of sixty five thousand inmates in custody as we do today we'll have something like ninety thousand and it's costing us at the moment about seventeen eighteen thousand dollars per year to keep those people and so it's becoming almost are really expensive this year for the first names the state of california has to take money away to form the budgets of education and human services though fur and holes in orbit to be able to pay for the correctional budget thank you jamroz some of the american friends criminal justice commission a quaker organization is a leading advocate of prison reform so what the ceo is a rapid expansion
of the construction of more prisons and jew and the budgetary a fax is that the school how to pay for the gao there's no philosopher who is quoted as saying that you can judge the civility of a society by looking at each prisoner that probably has never been better set george solomon is one of america's most respected corrections professionals when the taxpayer is actually aware that the school being provided for children the quality of education being provided for youngsters is diminished or placed into the balance of needing also to find prisons when that realization is clear to our taxpayers that will force a new decision the new decision being let us not spend
money for prisons beyond that which we must stand to protect ourselves with get out of the business about locking people up just because somebody wants to walk on this is still the prize while taxpayers and the legislators who represent the worry about the monumental costs about this is my shoes to billboard continue prisons bring jobs to local communities as the constituents of texas state senator ray therapy thirty counties i've got fourteen or fifteen counties that are lobbying me for a president because they wanna see it as economic development and that that's fine up to a point but no we have to keep your mind on the ultimate thing here is that it's not his building of prisoners not as providing an economic stimulus to an area that might have a song problem because of loss of industry or higher unemployment rate would finally we have to pay for
this and if we have to go of our resources and put it into were one place and then we may be exacerbating the problems not to mention increasing the costs of prison operations twenty three thousand dollars new mexico city is to imprison someone four year reflect that reality in nineteen eighty four new mexico opened its new women's prison in the economically depressed community of bright local residents in their state legislators welcome the blues to the area's economy the president brought jobs but the price of corrections operations are scattered about any state so far from urban facilities are high gary carruthers with the governor of new mexico but additionally on above the cost we also penalize by distributing the state prison systems around the state were also penalizes prison inmates occasionally for example in some communities they're there there's no prospects for a job and
has to go out and do something if you've built some of these prisons in communities that already have twenty three percent unemployment the prospects of finding him a commitment to you as opposed to someone who is already on board is pretty bleak we really have lacked a fundamental policy in corrections period dating long before the riot girl even the staple center near sense that catastrophe we have not come to a report an integrated incoherent policy state law roger morris is the author of the devil's butcher shop a compelling account of that state's infamous prison riot we decided where to place prisons and when to build them how large to make them who to put in them very largely in terms of the political advantages to be approved for and that region of the state it was placed in in terms of of who benefits in the legislature and all the rest that simply a shameful anachronism that we can no longer afford and corrections policy
we've got to make those decisions in terms of enlightened peel policy not to not economic development for which corrections after all was hardly a viable substitute as prison costs have risen the idea of privatization appeals to some politicians states would least privately owned and operated prisons some say they would save money a partisan issue is true nature is when we speak about prisons but there are successes are out there no major systems an improvisation understand one state has agreed to pay what price are to build three major prison systems most of the successes or from the southeast ukraine of the country where recently a former president reagan today is thirty member commission on privatization does and one of the issues along pursuit policy from around the country those kinds of experiences that would lend to good public policy mistake i think it will discover that the success is largely have
been significant enough to recommend a terror state legislature i have the i am very real reservations about this high if that's a good good term for it it has to do with privatization of prisons it's a vastly overstated a proposition if you will and mopping we in texas are proceeding with the utmost caution and with great care and so they were not considering a thing in a minimum security facilities i think that the specter a moderate facilities or maximum security that is fundamentally a state responsibility and i do not believe that the private sector as a proper role in that and that kind of endeavor well first off but their perspective of physician his
second prison which is the worst prison in this typical for him if i'm not mistaken might be proposed rule was prison in the nation started out the promise of privatization and then what they called it back there and that unlike period maybe the caller something else maybe they've got privatize it what you did work with them privatization is at best a very embryonic are being done on a very small scale in this country so to hold out as a panacea for the problems that we now face so i don't think it's realistic at all it would take a very long time on an enormous investment funds would make us hostage as or privatization schemes do to a whole new set of managers and bureaucrats and a whole new array of costs i might add that the taxpayers are they didn't find rather onerous incarceration of citizens of the united states is a constitutional issue doesn't belong and in the corporate
board decision making well it's a constitutional issue it's been america's prisons are growing a costly business as the bills come due taxpayers and politicians alike into one these expensive institution working they accomplishing promised objectives during crime reducing crime rates rehabilitating offenders or are they simply human warehouses and schools are common instruction out of public sight so out of the public's mind prisons are statistically in consequential we serve is no deterrent i have never talked to the inmate in my thirties three years in this business who thought for one moment he would get caught if the possibility of getting caught occurred to him he certainly did not go to the next level assuming for a
moment that he would be prosecuted or would be found guilty or certainly that he would ever wind up in prison inmates criminals know that the likelihood of them going to prison for committing a felony crime at best is about one in a hundred so if that's true and it is documented as truth in every state in our land our people need to know that they need to know the prisons have no substantial role to play usually the last thing because as most senators there for years you have nothing is the iranian star angular rhythms if he survives is because of the years as you know working for a message preached it has been sold for at least fifteen years that i know that the prison institutions are merely schools for crime and i don't think it's
changed and the opportunity is getting better to make it a criminal students and treme plainly something is not working recidivism rates are higher according to arrest with seventy percent of those released from prison will be behind bars again within five years and something has to be done about that there is more crime it is much more violent than the people that are involved in this violent crime but by and large are recidivists that is they repeat their crimes over and over and the only that the way to deal with these people in the short run i mean right now is to put them in jail and keep them there and they're released from prison they certainly are no less of a threat to the public and before they went in there more of a threat because they become embittered they become exposed to the violence that you do see in the prison system and it becomes a very much of a vicious cycle in terms of trying to break it is always coming out of
prison you know the prison for eighteen months or twenty four months or coming out the national average in prison must run today somewhere around twenty two months so these people are the people that you're walking down the street with an riding the buses with in and interacting every day so it is like you're putting on a rocket ship and sending them off into space never to return again inside energy's loan program many of this year's one thousand and forty it's a completely different feel taking the time to read it very wrong
half of the population has never finished high school a lot for something they functionally illiterate many people have never had one point and skills of very very limited reasons so many of the facts unions the life of deprivation of the lord the people were victims of child abuse it may well be that some of those are acting all maybe unconsciously or consecrate maybe in defiance against the the human situation they have experienced although it did you
we better be careful that we don't expect too much from corrections because when i when i receive a person it sank when he's a piano i know the beginning i don't think it's realistic to dig ditches and the person the prisoner rehabilitate heightened i'm never rehabilitated juvenile institutions on and i was changes sociology situation was worse thank you anal scalia or wobble is shelf claims in the price of a
low prices really boxes with nothing in there but then they leave and there for twenty nine days and really ready to have with other people try them long lasting in the next part of our job is to lead a sage we do that our job is to make opportunities available to them it isn't our job to rehabilitate anybody that's not correct himself is our job i think to make the climate the atmosphere and the conditions available for someone who wants to have to look at himself or herself to do something with one's life that's as far as we can go i don't think we should be expected to do to heal the glass soared to cleanse or to do anything else i think that there the conditions that lead to crime or are the conditions in our society and you know it's it's it's very much different then than in modern european society for example there are there is there is much
less crime and and and one of the problems here is is a gross inequity is in the economic structure the one constant that that all the criminologists have have ascertained with crime is that it goes up and outpouring of the rate of unemployment obviously poverty have some impact on it but to suggest that poverty is the cause of violent crime in this tremendous increase i think it's frankly nonsense it's hard to say when you look at the state prison population in california it all then you'll see that at least sixty five the sun belongs to disable a thirty
six or so about forty seven percent are latino and two to four sunburn native american and asian we in california me up practicing something of an apartheid system which people don't vote but that is exactly what the ability not really want to talk about it but given the disproportionate number of minorities in state prisons disturbing issue of racism cannot be the way people belong in the basement what they have done that's the only test someone's an armed robber it belongs in the penitentiary that mattered not all whether that person is black brown or white we cannot say that black people or latino or native american people i innately more inclined than white so we have to solve the underlying cause of
why a sixty five percent of the population is non white and then of course the mirror thinking in terms of an ally population not participating in the so called bling of america anyway prisons the ultimate welfare state we don't like welfare but some ongoing to take people and feed called the medical care free medical services the absolute best armed and eight and that's when you can do when you started car sharing our people enormous cost and i think in some states have found themselves having to state police people early because they can't afford the system we're really heading for assistance not in the country the
corrections as the new post offices but maybe the new welfare system for the underclass in america that has a potential to really think through what we're doing taking stock is a painful bits but as the costs and ineffectiveness of corrections policy or as they search for a different approach is inevitable in georgia where the hack costs of prison construction operations but the point of the piece blue
georgia searches for alternatives to traditional political climate after a disillusioning effect as recently as five years ago in georgia imposed more of its citizens per capita of any state and despite an already overcrowded prison system despite a federal court order that required improvise the result of so many people behind bars was hardly rehabilitation haven't always very conservative relative to what we do with offenders we have tended to look at prison as well the primary answers and as a result i think we have to begin to rethink what we're doing and to provide the judges were some other options other than just basic provisions of the park
special term of incarceration program has a rather unique approach to present a version of take young man the twenty eight isn't it in twenty five games beginning his criminal career of all criminal career and put him on probation and as a special condition of probation you determine that he was required to serve ninety days nasa's program to look at the situation here it's military or even basic trends would combine the best of what military has offered first in military discipline and also the best of what the prison system has to offer in terms of hard labor and it successfully completed the money that program the can return home and certainly to this question the trails to complete that satisfactory we may recommend meditation to the courts and for those who'd recommended medication have incentive to read that the result thus far indicate that approximately seventy five to seventy seven percent of the people who
come through this program on three years later have not returned prison is the first time he's been in prison all fairly short but it's very intensive and we give them an opportunity to see the consequences of their behavior so when they return to society like this that we're not this we're going to be doing richard burton senate is one of the many programs options that a judge in georgia has noticed this innocent face i just as a person in here to go through a process first of all judge thinks that this person crime was too severe forever probation but yet still not severe enough to incarcerate him a second chance yes the work wonder made a prerequisite to canada's parliament that you got to be able to work and think of the person on the senate's debate everything that he gets a report about the kiwi
obvious phase of that here's the thing three days the most attention he has to have a certain moment save the only see if he has a family and assemble them support long live on welfare so you won't be a burden to taxpayers did you pay taxes just what the average man on the street while in this program we keep this person whereas any any presidents who just in themselves and just doing that can hear you doing time that you do and productive time you work in the woods in building the building is the person himself we're making you do things just to make you feel better about yourself to give you a strong positive outlook that you can make it just about motion is very next most districts we've now added a home confinement and volunteer interns improvising and these innovations to a place unknown confinement or the home for tweet was later the first when the
surgeon seif except the town will out and be away from all the programs designed primarily for moderate risk offenders if you will to be assigned to a very strict religion home and there were bomb allowed into the suv as austria's role in prison a very tight curfews establish we have weekly employment verification weekly record checks the local law enforcement a quiet nature than the rest of the current drug and alcohol springs are taken on iraqi bases new service component of intensive probation they recorded two hundred thirty two hours where complete into production arm i will tell them from day one that i know you novel like those probation and we're not going to live and they bundle these rules among others the strict standards but ratliff no other requirements you like it because that would be i think unrealistic but on remand them
of the fact that they're not going to exist as this problem they'd be in jail thank you availability now of options ranging from regular probation to and community services a condition of probation to intensive probation involving two officers working with a small caseload version centers two shock incarceration has really given the judge's what we refer to as a cafeteria of absence and options midrange punishment options and that can in fact punish control respond to that victim and also meet the needs and the treatment need to know the offenders as we have in our society georgia's promising innovations and driven by the same forces that shape america's larger prison crisis dangerous overcrowding federal court intervention economic necessity
the vast majority of our states are being compelled to seek new ways to respond to prime unlike george are some states continue to follow the policies that largely stalled the prison crisis i think the case of new mexico despite a nineteen seventy federal portal you and consent decree to reduce the overcrowding that ultimately fostered a bloody riot of nineteen eighty the governor a financially strapped new mexico taos reviewed litigation to fight that court or the court order came two years after one of the worst prison was ever and other states now had we just heard the location and some discussion in the courts and litigation and decided to settle the case of a court which is a consent decree and nothing else that happened i will i believe that we would not have agreed to the conditions that we agreed to a brain that's not accurate historically and a consent decree was under negotiation for several months before ride ever took place there in fact were talks between the state
and the havoc on the plaintiffs represented by the aclu and by federal arbitrators that point in the late months of nineteen seventy nine are discussing a specific standards and majors that that would be embodied in the decree the decree really represents no more than the best and most enlightened people thinking in the country but the nineteen eighty prisoner of the piano and it up to any against a saudi on behalf of the inmates i think we had collectively a great sense of guilt for happen nineteen eighty because of the rand the filing was about overcrowding and conditions in the prison that's what brown was complaining about nothing and we perhaps collectively decided that we felt guilty for more worship what we did is to find some conditions that do not miss them as a public to manage the prison it is not some kind of special concoction that grew up after the riot it's not the product of bureaucratic guilt is in fact the distillation of the best and most progressive standards and in corrections practices
around the country clearly millions perhaps billions of dollars have been spent on litigation involving our state's prison conditions something rarely included in calculations of the costs of corrections and the cost of fighting the division is there's concern to nice girls been difficult to continue to fight simply because studies it over or terms of the narrative greeted and consequently we found ourselves in some of the purple one of those essays as president changed ministration so unchanging and mistresses least you can make an argument that we want something different and something that they're only major act has been to pour more money into lawyers to fight duran decree which is an old when i think forewarned effort they've even got into trouble now hire on new washington law firm to try to waging all out constitutional a battle against a decree which i think is doomed to failure we spent almost two million dollars on attorneys in the last three or four years fighting the veranda great we can spend that money so much more useful in programs in it even in developing new policies in the corrections department rather
than trying to fight brothers the good news is that there are a few states unfortunately too few which seemed to be the exceptions to the rule minnesota like other states it must grapple with gram and corrections but minnesota has avoided many of the causes of crisis in other states i don't want any more prisons i don't believe that the people who are running our correctional systems they want more prisons one thing i've learned you build a new film and you're just spending implied in disproportionate amount of his state budget ah for something that really isn't doing the citizens much good answer we pursued a somewhat different course and this a minnesotan i think it's been a much better one we are willing and have been for a long time to want to spend some money on now on each other and that we have a long history of that minnesota corrections commissioner or walk on seized a
connection between the state's social services at its correction program so i think what you find correction system let's assume we have a good one in minnesota you can go to other areas and fine upstanding systems i think we have the best health care system in the country we spend more money on education i think than any other state to spend more money on and generally human human services in minnesota so it would be inconsistent that will pour corrections system with all these other systems being recognized they think in many ways is what won the best in the country more than anything else is how we handle our juvenile offenders may determine the ultimate character about adult corrections systems and red way a young offenders last chance in the minnesota juvenile system the emphasis is on education and skills as well as
corrections juvenile offenders in minnesota the list into things like that when the only as a last resort tom community programs like a titan in minneapolis the tiny houses provide the kind of structure in control and toughness it worked very effectively refugee but for the program might be in a residential program might even be in a state institution minnesota's culinary director clearly at least in my experience that the ultimate the ultimate turnaround comes when a kid finds out on adult finds out that there is more need for me to do things right and there is wrong and buy in it for me i need essential things like highways support myself that i can buy yeah i can meet find some kind of meaningful work that gives me the kind of song that i can feel i have something that if it works very hard to work to bring about
an education programs a track of the kids once they faced on the basics reading arithmetic being the two keys they also use relationships the kinds of plans that occur invaded day interaction among kids and the kids and adults to be a learning experience to learn the social skills necessary to survive and succeed in the in the in the larger society i think what you want to do a jewels is damage in the least a past we can't get him through a spear is it they don't leave more better more hostile more damage than when they came in and i think the one i least libor with a good self concept and a feeling that they can be successful is quite an investment with juveniles that even if there's a lot of money in this business and if you can just live for one year even though most savior budget over a lifetime of corrections and cry copies go talk to kids in the
community and school system to try to use their name because that's your future as well as what it was well ej probably no american institution has a greater and more costly failure that our presence i wrote those words thirteen years ago in atlanta that a book about my experiences during the attica prison uprising we call our prisons a correction system but neither of those who run them were those were appropriate the money actually believe that prisons achieve much correction and by that we mean that rehabilitation of attempts and is we spend billions to all workers in order to incarcerate more attention
than anyone believed that these warehouses of humanity significantly deter crime continuing that crime rates speak for themselves but we cannot blame legislators alone i've grown into a panic the political issue in this country the bureaucrats and the politicians have done just about what we citizens have been there we have taken cuts good injury it's erotic a sad commentary that we're beginning to recognize the value of our prisons because they cost too much what his prison costs rising out of control threaten other basic programs including education perhaps the most effective deterrent to crime we're being compelled not to consider less expensive possibly more effective ways to
deal with crime and punishment and that there may be hope for more of us than criminals and their victims the poop this special program was
funded in part by the corporation for public broadcasting through a grant from the pacific mouth network program fund the preceding on assignment documentary special on america's prison crisis raises deeply troubles and questions next week in an important follow up an extraordinarily candid conversation with the recently resigned warren of the new mexico state penitentiary yourself in prison business will chew you up and spit you out if you know or i hope you'll join us podcast of on assignment is locally funded by kay in any viewer contributions and by a grant from the mountain bell foundation
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Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis
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KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
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New Mexico PBS (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
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Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis -- A year and a half in the making, Monuments To Failure is a penetrating documentary look at what has been called this nation's "costly failure" ... our state's corrections systems. Shot in California, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, and New Mexico, Monuments To Failure is narrated by On Assignment special guests host, author, and New York Times columnist, Tom Wicker, one of the negotiators at the Attica prison riot of 1971 (Guests: Tom Wicker, New York Times; Rocky, Inmate, Santa Fe State Penitentiary; Daniel Vasquez, Warden, San Quentin, California Department of Corrections; Orville Pung, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Corrections; Jerry, Inmate, Santa Fe State Penitentiary; Roger Morris, Journalist Author; Mary Walters, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice; Debra Daily, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission; Ira Reiner, District Attorney, County of Los Angeles; Robert Presley, State Senator, California Legislature (D); Michael Satris, Attorney; Ray Farabee, State Senator, Texas Legislature (D); William Clements, Governor of Texas; Jan Marenissen, American Friends Criminal Justice Commission; George Sullivan, Former Warden, New Mexico State Pententiary; Garrey Carruthers, Governor of New Mexico; Vince Fallin, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Corrections; Treutt Goodwin, Warden, Al Burruss Training Center, Georgia; James Fletcher, Director, Griffin Diversion Center; William Larkey, Probation Officer, Coweta Judicial Circuit, Georgia Department of Corrections; Allan Spear, State Senator, Minnesota Legislature (D); Jay Lindgren, Director, Minnesota Juvenile Release Program, Minnesota Department of Corrections). Producers: Hal Rhodes, Dale Kruzic, Matthew Sneddon.
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Guest: Clements, William
Guest: Presley, Robert
Guest: Satris, Michael
Guest: Farabee, Ray
Guest: Carruthers, Garrey
Guest: Sullivan, George
Guest: Marenissen, Jan
Guest: Fallin, Vince
Guest: Vasquez, Daniel
Guest: Wicker, Tom
Guest: Pung, Orville
Guest: Morris, Roger
Guest: Daily, Debra
Guest: Reiner, Ira
Guest: Goodwin, Treutt
Guest: Larkey, William
Guest: Fletcher, James
Guest: Spear, Allan
Guest: Lindgren, Jay
Producer: Sneddon, Matthew
Producer: Kruzic, Dale
Producer: Rhodes, Hal
Producing Organization: KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-51256a595fc (Filename)
Format: U-matic
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Chicago: “On Assignment; 2006; Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis,” 1987-11-14, New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 25, 2023,
MLA: “On Assignment; 2006; Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis.” 1987-11-14. New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 25, 2023. <>.
APA: On Assignment; 2006; Monuments To Failure: America's Prison Crisis. Boston, MA: New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from